Egypt joins major Arab military training exercise with KSA, UAE

Egypt joins major Arab military training exercise with KSA, UAE
Forces and equipment of the participating countries have been arriving at airbases and seaports.(File/AFP)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Egypt joins major Arab military training exercise with KSA, UAE

Egypt joins major Arab military training exercise with KSA, UAE
  • Saif Al-Arab training is one of the most sophisticated exercises in the Arab world, and works on developing and consolidating the foundations of military cooperation

CAIRO: Egypt has joined a major military training exercise involving Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, and Sudan.

The Saif Al-Arab combat activities will continue until Nov. 26 at the Mohammed Najeeb military base, and sea training areas in the northern military region.

Over recent days, forces and equipment of the participating countries have been arriving at airbases and seaports under strict precautionary measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The training is aimed at bringing the joint forces together to meet the necessary operational standards required to manage hostilities in coordination between the various naval, air, and land weapons.

Saif Al-Arab training is one of the most sophisticated exercises in the Arab world, and works on developing and consolidating the foundations of military cooperation while honing joint work between the Egyptian armed forces and those of Arab countries in using technologically advanced weapons and equipment.

The first stages of training include holding a coordination conference between the forces of the participating countries to unify concepts and transfer training expertise, as well as theoretical and practical lectures to implement planned tasks to achieve maximum benefit for the forces taking part.

Strategic expert, Maj. Gen. Samir Farag, said that the joint training activities would act as a “deterrent message” to those who sought to harm Egyptian and Arab national security.

He added that it was the first time that Sudan had participated in joint Arab military training of this kind.

“The (Mohammed Najeeb) base is the largest military base in the Middle East, and it includes all types of weapons and new, advanced training fields,” Farag said.

He added that most of the countries partnering with Egypt were focused on desert fighting and that the training in the northern region showed a readiness for combat action if necessary.

He noted that the training was taking place as Libya was engaged in political negotiations to end its internal conflict.

Egypt also recently joined Russia in maritime training in Russian territorial waters. Units of the Egyptian naval forces arrived at the port of Novorossiysk to an official reception before combat skills exercises got underway.

 


UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks
Updated 15 min 53 sec ago

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks
  • The foreigners are families of jihadists from the Daesh group

BEIRUT: Twelve murders have taken place at a displaced camp in northeast Syria in just over two weeks, the UN said Thursday, sounding the alarm over an “increasingly untenable” security situation.
Held by Kurdish forces, Al-Hol camp — Syria’s biggest — holds almost 62,000 people, of whom more than 80 percent are women and children, including Syrians, Iraqis and thousands from as far afield as Europe and Asia.
The foreigners are families of jihadists from the Daesh group, which seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The Iraqi and Syrian residents of the camp largely fled subsequent fighting between Daesh and Kurdish forces.
“Between 1 and 16 January, the UN received reports of the murders of 12 Syrian and Iraqi camp residents,” said the UN statement, adding that an Iraqi woman was among those killed.
“The disturbing events indicate an increasingly untenable security environment at Al-Hol,” it added.
The camp had already witnessed several security incidents in recent months, sometimes involving Daesh supporters.
These have included escape attempts and attacks against guards or staff employed by NGOs, sometimes with knives, other times with firearms.
The UN statement published on Thursday said that Imran Riza, its Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, and Muhannad Hadi, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, expressed their “serious concern over the deteriorating security conditions” at the camp.
The two UN officials also stressed the “urgent need for durable solutions to be found for every person living in the camp.”
Since the fall of IS’ self-proclaimed caliphate in March 2019 after a US-backed Kurdish offensive in eastern Syria, Kurdish authorities have repeatedly demanded that countries repatriate women and children.
But most countries, especially European nations, are reluctant to take back their citizens. Some, including France, have brought home a limited number of French jihadists and children.
“The recent rise in violence... jeopardizes the ability for the UN and humanitarian partners to continue to safely deliver critical humanitarian assistance,” the UN statement added.
Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011 after the violent repression of protests, quickly spiralling into a multi fronted conflict that pulled in numerous actors, including jihadist groups and foreign powers.